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José Francisco López-Gil, Susana Aznar, Blanca Roman-Viñas, Javier Brazo-Sayavera, Rocío Izquierdo-Gómez, Sabina Barrios-Fernández, Olga Rodríguez Ferrán, and Salome Aubert

This report aims to provide a better understanding of physical activity (PA) and related factors among Spanish children and adolescents living with disabilities. The 10 indicators used for the Global Matrix on Para Report Cards of children and adolescents living with disabilities were evaluated based on the best available data in Spain. An analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats based on data provision was drafted by three experts and critically reviewed by the authorship team to provide a national perspective for each evaluated indicator. Government was the indicator with the highest grade (C+), followed by Sedentary Behaviors (C−), School (D), Overall PA (D−), and Community & Environment (F). The remaining indicators received an incomplete grade. There were low levels of PA in Spanish children and adolescents living with disabilities. Yet, opportunities to improve the current surveillance of PA among this population exist.

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Yeshayahu Hutzler, Sharon Barak, Salomé Aubert, Kelly Arbour-Nicitopoulos, Riki Tesler, Cindy Sit, Diego Augusto Santos Silva, Piritta Asunta, Jurate Pozeriene, José Francisco López-Gil, and Kwok Ng

The purpose was to synthesize information gathered from the interpretation and conclusion sections of the Global Matrix of Para Report Cards on the physical activity of children and adolescents with disabilities. The synthesis was based on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats framework. The procedure consisted of three stages: (a) the application of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health as the theoretical framework; (b) identifying and aligning Global Matrix indicators and benchmarks with the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health components through a Delphi approach; and (c) using content analysis to identify themes from specific report cards. Outcomes reveal that further attention toward including children and adolescents with disabilities in fitness assessments is needed as well as adapted assessment methods. Program availability, equipment and facilities, and professional training emerged as strengths but need further development to overcome weaknesses. Paralympic inspiration was an opportunity, whereas extreme weather conditions presented potential threats to physical activity participation among children and adolescents with disabilities.

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Kishor Lakshminarayanan, Rakshit Shah, Yifei Yao, and Deepa Madathil

Previous studies have demonstrated that both visual and proprioceptive feedback play vital roles in mental practice of movements. Tactile sensation has been shown to improve with peripheral sensory stimulation via imperceptible vibratory noise by stimulating the sensorimotor cortex. With both proprioception and tactile sensation sharing the same population of posterior parietal neurons encoding within high-level spatial representations, the effect of imperceptible vibratory noise on motor imagery-based brain–computer interface is unknown. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of this sensory stimulation via imperceptible vibratory noise applied to the index fingertip in improving motor imagery–based brain–computer interface performance. Fifteen healthy adults (nine males and six females) were studied. Each subject performed three motor imagery tasks, namely drinking, grabbing, and flexion–extension of the wrist, with and without sensory stimulation while being presented a rich immersive visual scenario through a virtual reality headset. Results showed that vibratory noise increased event-related desynchronization during motor imagery compared with no vibration. Furthermore, the task classification percentage was higher with vibration when the tasks were discriminated using a machine learning algorithm. In conclusion, subthreshold random frequency vibration affected motor imagery–related event-related desynchronization and improved task classification performance.

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Jozef J.M. Suskens, Gustaaf Reurink, Johannes L. Tol, Gino M.M.J. Kerkhoffs, Edwin A. Goedhart, Huub Maas, and Jaap H. van Dieën

This study assessed activity distribution among the hamstring muscles during the Nordic hamstring exercise (NHE). The objective was to compare muscle activity between and within muscles during the NHE to add insights in its underlying protective mechanism. Through multichannel electromyography, we measured muscle activity in male basketball players during the NHE. Electromyography was assessed at 15 locations: 5 for biceps femoris long head, 4 for semitendinosus, and 6 for semimembranosus. For each percent of the eccentric phase of the NHE, muscle activity was calculated for each electrode location within each hamstring muscle individually. To quantify whole muscle head activity, means and variances across electrodes within each muscle were calculated. Thirty-five noninjured participants were included (mean age, 18 [2] y; mass, 87 [12] kg; height, 192 [9] cm). Heterogeneous muscle activity was found between 38% and 62% and over the whole eccentric contraction phase within the semitendinosus and the semimembranosus, respectively. Muscle activity of the semitendinosus was significantly higher than that of the biceps femoris long head. During the NHE, the relative contribution of the semitendinosus is the highest among hamstring muscles. Its strong contribution may compensate for the biceps femoris long head, the most commonly injured hamstring muscle head.

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Masood Mahfooz, Young-Eun Noh, and Eng Wah Teo

Evaluating athletes’ knowledge of and attitudes toward sports-related concussions is important. However, there is limited research involving South Asian athletes, partly due to the lack of a valid and reliable tool. This study, therefore, aimed to translate and validate the Rosenbaum Concussion Knowledge and Attitude Survey—Student Version, an established tool used to measure knowledge and attitude toward concussion, into Urdu. Rosenbaum Concussion Knowledge and Attitude Survey—Student Version was translated into Urdu using the standard guidelines and then completed by 369 athletes participating in contact sports at different universities in Pakistan. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed on the Concussion Attitude Index items to examine the underlying factorial structure. Construct validity of Concussion Attitude Index factors was also investigated using convergent and discriminant validity. The results showed that the Urdu version of the Rosenbaum Concussion Knowledge and Attitude Survey—Student Version has good psychometric properties and is a valid and reliable tool for evaluating Urdu-speaking athletes’ knowledge of and attitudes toward concussions.

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Heidi Stanish, Samantha M. Ross, Byron Lai, Justin A. Haegele, Joonkoo Yun, and Sean Healy

The U.S. Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth has tracked 10 physical activity (PA) indicators common to the Active Healthy Kids Global Matrix since 2014. This article expands on the U.S. report cards by presenting PA indicator assessments among children and adolescents with disabilities. Grades for indicators were assigned based on a search of peer-reviewed articles presenting nationally representative data. The Global Matrix 3.0 benchmarks and grading framework guided the process. Grades for overall PA, sedentary behaviors, organized sports, and school were F, D+, D+, and D, respectively. Insufficient evidence existed to assign grades to the remaining six indicators. There is a need in the United States for targeted PA promotion strategies that are specific to children and adolescents with disabilities. Without a commitment to this effort across sectors and settings, the low grades identified in this para report card are expected to remain.

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Nader Farahpour, Mahboube Alemzadeh, Mehri Mohammadi, Mohammadreza Rezaie, and Paul Allard

Left–right differential erector spinae (ES) muscle strengthening is required to correct ES muscle imbalances. The objective was to test the effect of 6 body positions on the differential activation of the ES muscles. In 14 able-bodied young women, using a surface electromyography system, the bilateral ES muscles activity at the third lumbar (ESL3) and the 10th (EST10) and 6th (EST6) thoracic vertebral levels was measured with the contralateral arm and leg lifted in the prone and quadruped conditions and with a single arm lifted in the quadruped position. Results showed that the activity of the ESL3 was symmetrical (P > .05) and significantly smaller than that of the thoracic ES muscles in all body positions (P < .01). The EST10 and EST6 were differentially activated in all tests (P < .001). Besides, the differential activation was higher in the contralateral-arm and -leg lift in the quadruped position than in the other positions. In conclusion, contralateral-arm and -leg lift and single-arm lift in the quadruped and prone positions are capable of differentially activating the ES muscles on one side more than the other side. Further studies are recommended to examine the effectiveness of these exercises on the correction of ES muscle imbalances in clinical populations.

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Unai Latorre Erezuma, Maialen Zelaia Amilibia, Ander Espin Elorza, Camilo Cortés, Jon Irazusta, and Ana Rodriguez-Larrad

This study assessed the effectiveness of a passive back support exoskeleton during a mechanical loading task. Fifteen healthy participants performed a simulated patient transfer task while wearing the Laevo (version 2.5) passive back support exoskeleton. Collected metrics encompassed L5-S1 joint moments, back and abdominal muscle activity, lower body and back kinematics, center of mass displacement, and movement smoothness. A statistical parametric mapping analysis approach was used to overcome limitations from discretization of continuous data. The exoskeleton reduced L5-S1 joint moments during trunk flexion, but wearing the device restricted L5-S1 joint flexion when flexing the trunk as well as hip and knee extension, preventing participants from standing fully upright. Moreover, wearing the device limited center of mass motion in the caudal direction and increased its motion in the anterior direction. Therefore, wearing the exoskeleton partly reduced lower back moments during the lowering phase of the patient transfer task, but there were some undesired effects such as altered joint kinematics and center of mass displacement. Statistical parametric mapping analysis was useful in determining the benefits and hindrances produced by wearing the exoskeleton while performing the simulated patient transfer task and should be utilized in further studies to inform design and appropriate usage.

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Linjing Jiang, Satoshi Kasahara, Tomoya Ishida, Yuting Wei, Ami Chiba, Mina Samukawa, and Harukazu Tohyama

It is well-known that multitasking impairs the performance of one or both of the concomitant ongoing tasks. Previous studies have mainly focused on how a secondary task can compromise visual or auditory information processing. However, despite dual tasking being critical to motor performance, the effects of dual-task performance on proprioceptive information processing have not been studied yet. The purpose of the present study was, therefore, to investigate whether sensorimotor task performance would be affected by the dual task and if so, in which phase of the sensorimotor task performance would this negative effect occur. The kinematic variables of passive and active knee movements elicited by the leg drop test were analyzed. Thirteen young adults participated in the study. The dual task consisted of performing serial subtractions. The results showed that the dual task increased both the reaction time to counteract passive knee–joint movements in the leg drop test and the threshold to detect those movements. The dual task did not affect the speed and time during the active knee movement and the absolute angle error between the final and the target knee angles. Furthermore, the results showed that the time to complete the sensorimotor task was prolonged in dual tasking. Our findings suggest that dual tasking reduces motor performance due to slowing down proprioceptive information processing without affecting movement execution.